If you have been thinking about undergoing breast enhancement surgery to improve the appearance of your breasts, you are not alone; according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation is the most commonly performed of all cosmetic surgeries. Of the nearly 2 million minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed in 2017, over 300,000 involved breast augmentation to either reduce or increase the size of the breasts.
Until recently, women interested in increasing their breast size had to decide between saline or silicone implants, both of which would be inserted either under the pectoral muscles or existing breast tissue. Alternatively, women could undergo a fat transfer augmentation procedure that would entail removing fat from other areas of the body and injecting it into the breasts to enhance their appearance. Today, women have yet another option, traditional implants combined with breast fat transfer. In this article, we will take a look at what this relatively new procedure entails and why it may be a compelling option for some women.
FAT TRANSFER BREAST AUGMENTATION
Before detailing the benefits of combining fat transfer with traditional implants, let’s get a better understanding of what a fat transfer breast augmentation procedure entails. Also known as mammoplasty, fat transfer breast augmentation is a procedure whereby a cosmetic surgeon will use autologous fat transfer, which is facilitated via liposuction, to remove fat from the patient’s stomach, thighs, or other areas of the body before injecting it into the breasts. Many women view this form of breast enhancement as being more natural and a better alternative to traditional procedures that require placing a foreign object inside of the body. To further illustrate this point, breast enhancement surgeries involving fat transfers increased by more than 72 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
WHAT STEPS ARE INVOLVED IN THE PROCEDURE?
Now that we have a general understanding of how fat transfer is used to enhance a woman’s breasts, let’s take a closer look at the steps involved in this type of breast enhancement. To begin the procedure, the cosmetic surgeon will need to choose a donor site, which will typically be the fattiest areas of the body like thighs or the stomach, for example. Once that has been established, he or she will use liposuction to remove the fat tissue, taking care to preserve as many living fat cells as possible. Before the fat removed from the donor site can be injected into the breasts, it must undergo a secondary process whereby unnecessary liquids are removed. Lastly, the surgeon will use a cannula, a hollow tube with a sharp, retractable inner core, to inject the fat into the breasts where it will mix with the existing fat tissue.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR THE PROCEDURE?
Fat transfer breast augmentation is ideal for any woman who is in good health and has a desire to increase her breast size but wants natural-looking results. However, there is a caveat in that women must have enough fat in their donor sites to benefit from the procedure. It is also important to note that fat transfer breast augmentation can only provide women with a modest increase in their overall breast size. Women who are interested in significantly larger breasts would have to either undergo a secondary procedure involving a breast lift or opt for an implant-based breast enhancement procedure.
Ideally, women should schedule a consultation with their prospective cosmetic surgeon to address any concerns that they may have and to confirm that they are a good candidate for the procedure. According to Dr. Jason I. Altman, certified breast augmentation expert from Miami, women who do not smoke, have good circulatory health, and adequate fat in their donor sites will benefit the most from fat transfer breast augmentation.
Also, all fat is not created equal, meaning the patient must have enough “quality” fat to achieve the best results. Lastly, fat transfer breast augmentation may require more than one visit with a plastic surgeon to achieve an ideal size, symmetry, or fullness.
CAN FAT TRANSFER AND TRADITIONAL IMPLANTS EVER BE COMBINED?
For women who want to enhance the size of their breasts but also want natural-looking results, combining fat transfer with implants offers the best of both worlds. This combined approach to breast enhancement works by using implants to provide the patient with larger breasts. Fat transfer is then used as a contouring agent to help fill in the gaps left behind and to improve overall symmetry. Another benefit of fat transfer is that it allows the breasts to look more natural compared to breast enhancements consisting of traditional implants alone. It is also important to note that this type of breast enhancement is not limited to first-time patients.
Fat transfer breast augmentation can also be used to resolve asymmetries and other imperfections left behind from previous implant-based breast enhancement procedures. While this relatively new approach to breast enhancement is gaining a lot of attention, some physicians are reluctant to perform such a procedure, believing that breast enhancement procedures consisting of implants alone are a better choice. That said, women who are interested in this breast enhancement combination will want to confirm with their cosmetic surgeon that the option is available.
In summation, fat transfer breast augmentation is ideal for women who want slightly larger breasts. Furthermore, it can help resolve gaps and asymmetries that stem from traditional breast enhancement procedures. If you’re thinking about undergoing a breast enhancement procedure, consider scheduling a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, a specialist well-versed in a variety of breast enhancement procedures, including fat transfer & breast augmentation.